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Inside Politics

Prosecuting Trump; Cash Crunch; Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Files Motion to Oust Speaker Mike Johnson. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired March 22, 2024 - 12:30   ET



SEUNG MIN KIM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST -- but you do see just, you know, he traveled through Nevada and Arizona, obviously not the states that were pulled today but also going to be very close states as well. And that those themes of abortion and democracy that came up basically at every campaign stop, whether he's meeting with supporters in Reno, in Washoe County, which is that one swing county in Nevada, or maybe with Latino voters in Arizona. Those are issues, they feel that rile up his base, and maybe get that independent, a coalition of independent voters that look at Donald Trump, look at January 6, look at all of his issue and say, we can't have that back in the Oval Office.

DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Everybody, standby. I've lost almost $500 million in cash, that claim this morning from Donald Trump who's not always been exactly accurate on issues of money. So does he have enough to post bond in his civil fraud trial? We're going to dive into that next.



BASH: Donald Trump has three days left to come up with almost half a billion dollars, and he's spending much of that time lashing out about it online after receiving a trial and deciding not to ask for a jury. Trump is now saying the opposite. He's claiming he got no trial, no jury, no crime, no victim, only a crooked judge and a corrupt Trump hating attorney general.

Trump is also countering what his attorneys claimed in court filings, saying he does have the cash needed for the bond. "Through hard work, talent and luck, I currently have almost $500 million in cash, a substantial amount of which I intended to use in my campaign for president." Let's talk about this with our senior crime and justice reporter, Katelyn Polantz.

Katelyn, I should say when I was going to break, I misspoke and said that he announced that he lost 500 million. He says he does have 500 million, a big difference there. If he does have that money, as he says, why would he be struggling so hard to come up with the bond money? KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Great question. Dana. Now, he could just if he wants to continue the appeals, which is what he says he wants to be doing here in this case, to appeal this $464 million judgment. He doesn't want the AG to seize that money. He could just write a check to the court to continue the appeals or he could go to these third party underwriters to give him the bond.

He has not been able to do that his attorneys have been clear. And that's because his attorney has clarified now to our own Kara Scannell that this isn't necessarily cash he has on hand, liquid hard, cold cash.

BASH: What he meant to say was?

POLANTZ: What he meant to say was its cash that he's built up in his role as a successful business.

BASH: So not cash.

POLANTZ: I said that not yet.

BASH: The attorney general, Letitia James, she has already started the paperwork to seize some properties in New York, if it comes to that. How would that work?

POLANTZ: Well, if he doesn't get the bond and he doesn't continue the appeals come Monday, she can enforce the judgment. So she's already gone to the counties in New York where he has properties Westchester County, the Seven Springs Resort, and then also in New York City where he has Trump Tower properties, and apartments and hotels, and Wall Street property. What happens after she's entered that judgment legally, which is what the steps she's taken, she then goes and forecloses, and puts liens, lays claim to those things in a legal way.

There could be more fights over that. She could be trying to get more information. But people who are lawyers can move swiftly once that judgment comes in to say that's mine now, not yours.

BASH: Key question for you. And that is, it's not the end of the road for the former president legally, right? Does he have more appeals that he could find a way to use to at least slow this process?

POLANTZ: In Donald Trump's world, he believes he always has more appeals. He is trying to appeal this but we may be, at the end of the road, in this case with this 500, nearly 500, half a billion dollars due because he lost this lawsuit and the judgment is coming in on Monday.

BASH: So they think they have an appeal left but it's not clear if that's --

POLANTZ: He's asking the appeals court for a lifeline. We're waiting to see if they come through before Monday.

BASH: Oh my gosh. I mean, this is truly dramatic. POLANTZ: It is.

BASH: It really is. Thank you so much for breaking it down for us, Katelyn. Great to see you always. Stay with us because up next, one of the most vulnerable Democrats on the ballot this year, she happens to be the longest serving woman in congressional history. We're going to ask her how she would deal with a Republican Speaker who might be ousted. Would she throw him a lifeline?



BASH: Back to the breaking news this hour, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson, just after the House passed a critical spending bill and move to vacate a speaker is a tactic we saw from Republicans before. They successfully did so with Speaker McCarthy and it took three weeks to get another one. The question now is, is there an appetite for that kind of chaos?

Our Manu Raju just caught up with Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi, new congressman from a very critical battleground district in New York. He offered a reaction, that might be surprising. Let's listen to his exchange.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Will you vote to keep Mike Johnson in as speaker?

REP. TOM SUOZZI (D-NY): Yes, I will.

RAJU: Why is that?

SUOZZI: Because it's absurd. He's getting kicked out for doing the right thing, keeping the government open. It has two thirds support of the Congress and the idea that he would be kicked out by these jokers is absurd.

RAJU: Will there be other Democrats who join you think?

SUOZZI: I hope so.


BASH: Joining me now is maybe one of those Democrats, a Democratic Congresswoman Marcia Kaptur of Ohio, who is the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress. Thanks so much for being here. I appreciate it.

Let's just start there. You are a veteran Democrat. You are somebody who is not unlike Tom Suozzi, maybe even more so than Tom Suozzi in a very battleground district. What will you do if you have to decide whether or not to vote to keep Mike Johnson as Speaker or oust him? REP. MARCIA KAPTUR (D-OH): Well, I want to keep my options open but I know the speaker, I really want to vote for is Hakeem Jeffries of New York. And we'll see what happens. There have been a number of Republican resignations. They're leaving early because of the chaos and extremism on the other side of the aisle. I think it's very unpredictable where things will be by July, August, September, so we'll have to see.

But I'm sorry that the woman from, gentlewoman from Georgia has done this to create more chaos at a time when America needs to be very resolute to meet our responsibilities at home. They're six months late and bringing to the floor bills that should have been done last year, six months late. And of course, we have to meet our first responsibility, which is to protect and defend this country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And I intend to do that in my own votes.

BASH: What do you mean by that?

KAPTUR: I mean, that our first response --

BASH: The second part, that enemies domestic.

KAPTUR: Chaos is a form of internal disruption and I know that there are a number of people that do these things to raise money in their campaigns. I don't think it's in the national interest. I think we need to do our job to be six months late in funding the Department of Defense, that's one of my subcommittees, I think is completely irresponsible and dangerous to the republic. We have enemies and they are serious.

BASH: So given that, you just said you're going to keep your options open. I know this is happening in real time but let's just go with it here. Is there an argument that could be made politically and policy wise, given what you just said about the danger to the Republic that you see. To keep Mike Johnson in the Speaker's chair --

KAPTUR: That is one --

BASH: -- you could go home to Ohio, to your very conservative district and say, I'm for keeping Congress, keeping government running, and I'm against chaos.

KAPTUR: Well, that is a real consideration at this point. And as we move into a presidential year, we aren't finished with our business yet. Certainly on the defense side, we have many other decisions facing us. But to have this kind of terrible upheaval inside the institution is very, very damaging to the country at home and abroad.

BASH: You mentioned Hakeem Jeffries.


BASH: He, of course, is the Democratic leader. He has invested in your seat. And I should mention that you are -- we believe only one of five Democrats running for reelection in a Trump district, Trump won district right now. When I came to see you, I did a story on your reelection bid in 2022 would you obviously won. You told me you were concerned that the Democrats on the coasts don't get Democrats in the middle places like Ohio anymore? Do you still think that is the case?

KAPTUR: It's endemic, but the fact that leader Jeffries came to Ohio, and was serious about learning more was a very good sign to me. And he just wasn't holed up in rooms. We were driving around. He was looking at different parts of the district and meeting hundreds and hundreds of people. Our part of the country has suffered from great job loss.

And in addition to that, our state Republican establishment, honestly, is totally corrupt, the largest public crimes in Ohio's history. The people I represent, for the most part, except for a few elected officials, that isn't the ethic of our region. Our people want an honest government, they want to be able to have good jobs with good wages and be able to afford their homes to be in the middle class. And it has been a struggle every decade of my career to help push the region forward.

That's the reality of where I come from, the Great Lakes Region. So that's what we should be focused on. Not all of this performing for the camera that's going on.

BASH: I should say that I made sure to have with me this mug from Bud's Diner, which is in Defiance, Ohio, a new conservative part of your district --


BASH: -- after gerrymandering, which I picked up when I was there covering your seat. Let's talk about where we -- I started this which is --

KAPTUR: You have the best strawberry pie?

BASH: It's actually deadly (inaudible). You are the longest serving woman in the history of Congress.


BASH: You surpassed the former senator, former congressman Barbara Mikulski's record last year. This is Women's History Month. I'm sure we could talk for hours about what's changed since you first came in the early '80s. What is the most important positive difference that you have seen for women when it comes to leadership in the Congress, besides the obvious which is that there's been a female Speaker of the House?


KAPTUR: Right. Well, we have risen from being very small number of the institution. When I first arrived there are 24 women, now we have 153.

BASH: Wow.

KAPTUR: So that's just in modern history, right, our lifetimes. We've seen this wonderful, wonderful movement of women into the Congress, each of whom is making such a positive contribution. But for the history of the whole country, less than 4%, about 3.26%, I think of all members who have ever served are women. So we still have a long way to go to make up for what hasn't been there for the majority of the history of the country. But we definitely have seen change and it's been positive.

We have women in the leadership. Our leader on our side of the aisle, Katherine Clark of Massachusetts, is working her heart out. You know, there are just so many talented women, chairs of committee, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut --

BASH: Yes.

KAPTUR: -- my counterpart on Appropriations. So they moved into top positions. When I was first elected, there were no women clerks on Appropriations. Now over half of our staff, directors are woman, lots of progress for America.

BASH: Thank you so much for coming on. We're a little bit condensed because of the breaking news day today, but I really appreciate you being here. Please come back.

KAPTUR: Thank you very much. Thank you for giving our part of the country notice.

BASH: Always, thank you. And there's much more ahead, stay with us.



BASH: A very busy day here on CNN. Stay tuned for all the latest news from Capitol Hill to the United Nations, Tel Aviv much more. Have a great weekend. CNN News Central starts next.